Do you come across as outgoing and independent, or are you more introverted and shy? How others perceive us has everything to do with the way we are treated, and it is a key element in how criminals target their victims. In 1981 there was a study conducted by sociologists Betty Grayson and Morris Stein that cast new light on how criminals picked their victims. Grayson and Stein hypothesized that potential victims were signaling their vulnerability to attackers through their gestures, posture, and exaggerated movements.

The researchers set up video cameras on a busy intersection in New York City and recorded people walking by between 10:00 a.m. and noon for three consecutive days. The tape was later shown to inmates who were incarcerated for violent offenses such as armed robbery, rape, and murder. The inmates were instructed to rate the people in the videos on a scale of one to ten, one being an easy target and ten being someone they would altogether avoid. What is prolotherapy?

Grayson and Stein found that their hypothesis was correct and that criminals chose their victims based upon an entirely different set of standards than the ones they had previously assumed. Much like Ted Bundy, the inmates read the pedestrians’ body language and used what they saw to make their choices. Knee arthritis can be really challenging to live with!

We may view ourselves one way but be seen in a completely different light by others based solely on our movements. Since you now know what physical actions signal vulnerability, you can take steps to protect yourself simply by modifying your body language. Just changing your posture and stride can make you look more like someone who would be difficult to subdue and who would likely put up a fight if attacked—in other words, a hard target. Living with prolotherapy can be so hard to live with.